Decoupling economic activity from finite resources – which forms the basis of a circular and sustainable economy – is crucial to India’s future, and leadership in the world. We operate in an interdependent reality, and systemic and thoughtful solutions need to be engineered that meaningfully address the multiple challenges the nation faces. Remanufacturing is one of these solutions. The purpose of this policy brief is twofold. The central purpose is to act as a strategic compass for the establishment of a comprehensive national remanufacturing policy framework in India that positions India strategically as a global leader in this industry. The second is to serve as a primer on what remanufacturing is, highlight its role in climate action, and in creating a resource efficient, sustainable, and circular economy.
Remanufacturing is a standardized industrial process through which previously sold, worn or non-functional products or parts (also known as ‘cores’) are returned to same-as-new, or better-than-new, condition and performance. The remanufacturing process is in line with specific technical specifications, including engineering, quality and testing standards and yields fully warranted products. In other words, remanufactured products are indistinguishable from new products in terms of quality, performance, appearance, functionality, and warranty.
This policy brief outlines seven interdependent elements (figure above), along with recommendations for action, that could form the basis of a robust cross-governmental approach to co-create a thriving remanufacturing ecosystem in India. The key recommendations in each of the seven elements are summarized below:
- Collaborative governance:
Establish an ‘Interagency Remanufacturing Working Group’ to grow remanufacturing in India, comprising of several pertinent Ministries/Departments such as MoC-DPIIT, MHI, MoMSME, MeitY, NITI Aayog as well as State Governments that have significant manufacturing operations like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
- Partnerships and stakeholder engagement:
Ensure that relevant stakeholders have been identified, understood, and engaged and a clear engagement strategy has been developed beforehand, as opposed to an ad-hoc top-down approach.
- Strategic and technology roadmapping:
In collaboration with key stakeholders from the private sector, industry bodies, research institutions, finance, and multilateral institutions, co-create long-term, industry specific roadmaps for the growth of remanufacturing in India.
- Policy framework and standards:
Ensure end-of-life (EOL) products are considered ‘non-waste’; promote adoption of value-chain solutions, build system capacity; mainstream remanufacturing into regional/national/international policies, develop standards, monitor progress.
- Technology research and innovation:
Establish a remanufacturing-focused ‘Centre of Excellence’; support pre-competitive, collaborative industry focused research and innovation; support firms to mitigate innovation-related risks.
- Finance and investment:
Invest in a remanufacturing-enabling framework; Invest in remanufacturing-related assets.
- Skill development and education:
Position remanufacturing skills at the forefront of policy; prioritise political coordination in skills policy design; secure industry involvement.